Well, the wedding was a success, and like every trip to Florida, I’m glad it’s over and surprised I’m alive. I spent some time at the pool, and I spent some time at the poolside bar. I only flipped out and yelled at someone until they began to tear up once, but then I quickly recovered my composure, apologized and made friends. All in all, pretty good trip. Thanks for holding down the fort while I was away.
This weekend was my favorite festival in Chicago, Ribfest, and I missed it. Well, actually I got back just in time to sneak in, realize that everyone was out of ribs, and settle on a chicken kabob before passing out in the sweaty pile of exhaustion that is me after a destination wedding. I woke up at 320 am just losing my mind. My mind was racing and I was absolutely convinced that I’d done something real bad, though I couldn’t figure out what it was. My dreams were fucked up and I think that had something to do with it. Anyway, long story short, I’m tired and a little uneasy. Whatever though, right? Nothing a bike ride won’t fix.
I’ve been listening to “Forgot About Dre” lately. Man, that last verse of Dre’s is probably one of the single greatest verses in the history of rap, and do you know why? Confidence, people. He’s rapping about how he’s been sucking, but now, he’s back, and now that all yall didn’t stand by him when he was sucking, he’s leaving you, and the entire rap game, which he so very obviously dominates, behind. It’s real, real good, and I’m not a gigantic Dre fan or anything. It’s just like a perfect storm. Rappers always try to pretend that they’ve got so much confidence, and that they control the entire spectrum and future of rap, but only Dre really sounds like he’s just disgusted with everyone out there. It’s a total bitch slap to the face of every other rapper. He’s so fucking over it that he’s not even pretending that he wasn’t putting out records that were up to par. That’s confidence, man. I know, it’s nine years old, and Eminem probably wrote the verse and this probably couldn’t be more irrelevant, but I’m listening to lots of stuff now to keep my brain sharp, or perhaps to the point, sharpen it again. I’m feeding my head again after a LONG period of not listening to music or reading.
People often write in and ask ‘how do you write songs?’ well, here’s the answer everyone, take note: Read. Read tons of magazines, books articles, dumb self important blogs, whatever. Watch television and listen to music, but mostly, mostly you have to read. There’s no way to produce without putting gas in the tank. Listen to music that makes you think, not just the music that you want to make, although that’s important too. However, if Strike Anywhere went and listened to nothing but Rise Against for inspiration (or vice versa) there’d be no way to progress beyond that basic level. It’s always diminishing returns when you stay locked into a genre. My big influence lyrically, for a long time was Eminem, simply because I loved his ideas of how verses flowed and the intersyllabic rhymeschemes that he came up with. I don’t think that my music sounds particularly like Eminem, but I used that influence or inspiration to do something that I wouldn’t have been able to pull off otherwise. Does that make sense? I read books and find sentences that I think are super powerful and concentrated and I earmark them and come back to them, or just let them come out when I write words down. It’s a constant process of expulsion, consumption. Kind of like barfing up gigantic tubs of jizz and then eating them again…No, sorry. Not like that at all. It’s like eating all bran. You have to make yourself eat it, then it makes you shit more than you ever would otherwise, then you have to keep eating more and more all bran, and keep shitting and keep sifting through that shit for all the diamonds. Is that a decent metaphor? Good. See, kids, just keep reading and you too will be able to craft finely hewn uh…strings of sparkling shit metaphors. Good game today. I gotta go outside, man.